In one of my recent workshops, when we got to the part about clarifying our focus areas, one of the participants posted this:
That sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But like most of us, this sweet friend had this particular activity on her list of things to start doing for a long time. And wasn’t like it was complicated. She knew exactly how to do it.
Often, people will show up in my Move Forward Mastermind group and know just what needs to be done, but still have a hard time doing it.
Why is that? I mean, it would be one thing if we needed to learn how to do something new, or it was complicated and would take a lot of steps to figure out. But why do we struggle to do what we already know how to do?
Here are four barriers that may be keeping you from doing what you know how to do, and ways around them.
Barrier #1: You’ve lost your passion or motivation
Way Around It: Remember your Why in a unique and creative way
Oh I know the first thing you’ll say. “Of course I know my Why … I’m so passionate about what I do.”
But when was the last time you REALLY connected with it? Marinated in it, let it soak deep in your heart.
In her book, Beginner’s Pluck, Liz Bohannon shares about doing a Wow exercise. Let your mind and soul go to the place where there are no limits, no exceptions, no barriers. What would it look like, feel like and taste like if you fully stepped into what God called you to do and He totally showed off? That place where all you can say is, “Wow, God.”
We did a “Wow, God” exercise in the Build A Better Year workshop and here were some of my favorite reactions to it:
What could happen if there were no limitations? That’s the place of miracles. ~Dorothea
Love this exercise. It’s hard to get past the immediate tangible things to see the eternal, but focusing on all God can do really changes things! ~ Kristine
I really loved spending time thinking about “Wow, God!” ~ Jeanne
When you feel your Why this deeply, you’ll be motivated to do those things you know how to do.
Barrier #2: You are afraid.
Way Around It: Remember Who called you to it
Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of rejection. Fear of praise or recognition. We are all afraid of something.
But we serve the One who has given us the ability to overcome that fear. In Joshua 1:9, it says that God COMMANDED Joshua to be strong and courageous, not “suggested”. That idea gives me the push I need to overcome whatever I am currently afraid of. Because God commands it of me, I must make the choice to be obedient, just like I choose to be obedient to other things He has commanded me to do.
So go … be strong and courageous!
Barrier #3: We don’t have a plan to do it.
Way Around It: Start simple
You knew I was going to get to planning, didn’t you? That was the problem with my friend at the top of this post. She knew what to do, but she didn’t have a plan to do it. She wanted to start doing Facebook Live teaching for her ministry, but she didn’t have a content plan. So when she thought of it, or had a minute to go Live, she didn’t have anything specific to say, so she just … didn’t.
Sometimes when we make a plan, we make it so complicated that the plan itself becomes a barrier. My friend didn’t need six months of Facebook Lives planned out … she just needed a few weeks.
When it comes to creating a plan to do what you know how to do, start simple …. and simply start.
Barrier #4: Overwhelmed with too many things to do
Way Around It: Stop doing too many things
I wish there was a better answer. Really, I do. I wish there was a magical system that made it possible to do 10 hours of work in four hours. Yes, some resources, like the Ultimate Productivity Bundle, can help you streamline your processes, waste less time, and get more things done. But the chronically overwhelmed don’t need to do “more”. They need to do “less”. And (spoiler alert: #toughgrace ahead) if you don’t have time to do all the things you think you need to do, you are doing things God didn’t call you to do.
We need to brutally protect our time and our to-do list. If you are tempted to mark something on your list as a “low” priority, question whether it needs to be on your list at all. I don’t know about you, but my calling and my message are too important to spend time on low priority stuff.
No matter what your barrier is to doing what you know how to do, there is a way around it. These are just the four I find to be most common. What barrier do you struggle with most? Tell us in the comments and let’s brainstorm it together!